How Much Math Do You need?

How Much Math Do You need?

When I was in high school, I often pondered exactly how much math would I need in my life. I went through all the algebras, trigonometry and probability and statistics and couldn't figure out how it would end up helping balance my checkbook.

When I went to college to study physics, I took years of calculus, differential equations and even mathematical modeling. The last class was supposed to help use this advanced math for real world situations.

I eventually graduated and did not go into physics. I went into writing and journalism and the bulk of the math I learned, I never use. The funny thing is that even the people I talk to on a regular basis who went into science and engineering hardly use the math they learned.

For the most part, computer programs do the majority of work. Sure, you need to know that math in order to create the programs, but then its done. Supercomputers spend months working on the same problems plugging in numbers for various variables in order to spit out a simulation of a star supernova.

Engineers use programs to help streamline their designs because with this deadline world they need to save every precious second and can't spend three days pouring over sheets of paper covered in illegible equations and notes.

As for me, I use addition, subtraction, division and multiplication with the occasional use of algebra and trigonometry. I don't use higher math often, but I am glad that I know it. We don't want the world to become so simplistic that we no longer has to use our brains.